Study Finds Most Doctors Don't Smoke; But They Don't Press Patients to Quit

From July 2003 to February 2004, researchers from Mathematica Policy Research (Princeton, N.J.) conducted a national survey of 2,804 health professionals to determine their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behavior regarding smoking and smoking cessation.

Key Findings

Researchers reported the following key findings to RWJF and in an unpublished manuscript:

  • Few clinicians currently smoke.

  • Primary care physicians are more likely to counsel smokers and offer cessation assistance than other clinicians, but quit advice and support are infrequent across groups.

  • Few clinicians are aware of treatment guidelines.

  • The structure of clinical practices raises barriers to improved cessation practices.

  • There are differences in assessment, treatment and perceived barriers by clinician ethnic group, tobacco use and practice setting.